Pre­pare for sum­mer jour­neys

Matamata Chronicle - - Motoring -

in 30 de­gree-plus heat and if things are go­ing to fail, it will of­ten be at times like this.

So, when you head out on your great Kiwi road trip this sum­mer, make sure that your car is ready for warmer tem­per­a­tures.

Some sim­ple steps can help save you time, money and headaches dur­ing your trip:

Con­sider a pre-trip in­spec­tion by an Mo­tor Trade As­so­ci­a­tion technician; re­pairs can be more costly on the road.

Ask them to check things like the air con­di­tion­ing, cool­ing sys­tem, drive belts, hoses and clamps, brakes, along with fun­da­men­tals like flu­ids, oil and water.

Check the con­di­tion and air pres­sure in all tyres, in­clud­ing the spare, to make sure they are road­wor­thy. Re­mem­ber, heat is a tyre’s big­gest en­emy.

Re­place ragged wiper blades and make sure the wash reser­voir tank is full and you’ve added proper clean­ing agents – not dish­wash­ing liq­uid.

Make sure your sun vi­sors are do­ing the job; glare from the sun ei­ther di­rectly or from other ve­hi­cles can blind you tem­po­rar­ily.

It’s also a good idea to have an emer­gency kit in your car, just in case you need it. It should in­clude: jumper ca­bles a jack and wheel-brace torch water for both the ra­di­a­tor and your­self ( around two litres) blan­ket and towel emer­gency re­flec­tors. Sum­mer is of­ten the time peo­ple choose to try the road less trav­elled.

En­joy the jour­ney and take time to ap­pre­ci­ate New Zealand’s scenery.

Keep in mind, that if you are try­ing to avoid those queues of fel­low hol­i­day mak­ers, the scenic route may not be the quick­est, so plan your trip ac­cord­ingly.

Tips to help avoid be­com­ing drowsy while driv­ing

Take breaks ev­ery two hours and if you feel tired, have dif­fi­culty fo­cus­ing or just want to stretch your legs – pull over and have a walk around.

Share the some­one.

Pas­sen­gers can help look out for early warn­ing signs of fa­tigue.

Take a 15 to 20 minute nap. More than this can make you groggy for at least five min­utes af­ter awak­en­ing.

Con­sume the equiv­a­lent of two cups of cof­fee (eg, soft drinks, en­ergy drinks, cof­fee, tea) but re­mem­ber that caf­feine takes about 30 min­utes to en­ter the blood­stream and will not greatly af­fect those who reg­u­larly con­sume it.

Don’t drive if you’re sleep de­prived, less than six hours sleep can triple your risk of driver fa­tigue.

Don’t drive when you would nor­mally be asleep, avoid driv­ing through the night.

Over the sum­mer months ev­ery­one wants to take ad­van­tage of the great weather. This means the roads are busier than ever and there­fore driv­ers need to be even more aware of the risks.

By driv­ing to the con­di­tions, plan­ning your jour­ney and hav­ing pa­tience with other road users, ev­ery­one can stay safe on the roads this sum­mer.



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